Jul 11, 2013

Modulation of visually evoked postural responses by contextual visual, haptic and auditory information: a 'virtual reality check'

PloS One
Georg F MeyerAntony J Robotham


Externally generated visual motion signals can cause the illusion of self-motion in space (vection) and corresponding visually evoked postural responses (VEPR). These VEPRs are not simple responses to optokinetic stimulation, but are modulated by the configuration of the environment. The aim of this paper is to explore what factors modulate VEPRs in a high quality virtual reality (VR) environment where real and virtual foreground objects served as static visual, auditory and haptic reference points. Data from four experiments on visually evoked postural responses show that: 1) visually evoked postural sway in the lateral direction is modulated by the presence of static anchor points that can be haptic, visual and auditory reference signals; 2) real objects and their matching virtual reality representations as visual anchors have different effects on postural sway; 3) visual motion in the anterior-posterior plane induces robust postural responses that are not modulated by the presence of reference signals or the reality of objects that can serve as visual anchors in the scene. We conclude that automatic postural responses for laterally moving visual stimuli are strongly influenced by the configuration and interpretation of the e...Continue Reading

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  • References40
  • Citations3

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